by Brian YalungOnly a hand few may know who Angelo Constantino is. But in the bowling world, he is one of the respected and decorated keglers. He is best known as a mild-mannered and soft-spoken person who spends most of his time at local bowling alleys and helping aspiring bowlers sharpen their skills.
If one is to scour the Internet for information on Constantino, the first thing that one would get is that he was part Philippine National team that won a gold medal in the 1992 World Youth Bowling Championships in Caracas, Valenzuela. He has actually done more than that, representing the country at international events on more than one occasion in the past.
Manila Bulletin Sports got to talk with several of Constantino’s friends and bowling buddies, all still in disbelief but willingly shared their memories of Angelo.
“Ako very shocked. Kasi, I was with him the past few weeks. One of the times na mas madalas ko siya nakasama. We were in Hong Kong for a coaching conference and then sa youth tournaments kasi he was coaching one of the bowling clubs,” said PH bowling team coach Biboy Rivera.
“The last time I was with him was Dec. 27 in one of the youth tournaments.”
Asked on whether they were teammates for the PH National Team, Rivera said that this happened back in 1996-97. He had just made the team while Constantino was on his way out.
“We were teammates nung pa-exit na siya sa national team, ako naman yung papasok. Nag-abot pa kami nung 1996. And if I am not mistaken, 1997,” Rivera said.
Jing Sablan, another former national bowler who was a teammate of Constantino, could not believe the news as well.
“He was a great friend and teammate. He was a very down to earth person and wanted to help other people learn about the sport. Angelo really has the passion for the sport and a humble person,” said Sablan who added that they were also teammates during the 1995 SEA Games in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Norman Gonzales, also a former national player and now a bowling coach, said he was sad to learn about the news of Constantino’s passing Friday afternoon. Gonzales was with Angelo as part of the Philippine Juniors Bowling team held in Manila back in 1990.
“I am so shocked and sad. Too early to die. I learned about it around 6:30 p.m. Angelo has been supportive of me. He would always tap me pag may mga coaching gigs,” shared Gonzales.
He also added that they were both part of the 2006 PH national bowling team coaching staff. Gonzales is also grateful to Constantino who always gave him DJ (disc jockey) gigs whenever there were events.
Raoul Miranda, a current national bowler remains in disbelief of the untimely passing of Constantino. He says that it has been some time since both last crossed paths.
“Kasi long time ago ko pa siya nakasama. I think sa Greenhills 2001 pa and isang open tournament. Affter that wala na kami communication. Sa mga bowling center nalang kami nagkikita,” said Miranda.
“Matagal din siya nawala after magsara Green Valley. Lately lang siya naging visible,” he ended.